Last Thursday’s field hockey contest between the Dover Senators and Polytech Panthers was just one of many game casualties due to the inclement weather late last week.
Now, two teams headed in separate directions will get their chance to face-off on Thursday when the two teams, both with something to prove, meet in a conference battle.
The Polytech Panthers are off to an incredible 10-0 start to the season, a year removed from a state semifinal berth. Meanwhile, the Senators are trying to find their way back to the top of the division and conference standing at 5-4 on the season.
The Panthers currently hold the state’s best record, and stand tall as one of only four remaining undefeated teams among Delaware high schools. Also, Polytech’s 45 goals this season is good enough for fourth best in the state. Combine their offensive out-put with their 0.9 goals allowed per game percentage, and the Panthers are a safe bet for another deep tourney run.
“I believe the key to our start is team work and heart,” said Polytech Head Coach Lynn Richardson. “We are a young team and the players recognize that they need to come to practice every day to continue to improve and develop their skills.”
For the Dover Senators, it’s been a see-saw type of year from game-to-game. While they’re the victim of three shutout losses, they’ve also shutout opponents four times this season.
After starting the year at 0-2, the Senators have played better field hockey as of late winning five of their last seven games including a 2-0 conference win over Smyrna last week.
Friday’s game is a big one for both teams as the Panthers want to keep pace Cape Henlopen (10-0-1) and third-place Caesar Rodney who stands at 9-3. And a Senators’ upset victory over Polytech could go a long way to getting Dover back in the playoff hunt.
If the Senators are to be successful on Friday, they will have to find a way to shut down the high-powered Polytech offense led by Jessica Rutkoski and Jamie Trabaudo. Also, they will have to solve goalkeeper Lauren Lee who has backed up an impressive freshmen campaign with three shutout victories this season, while allowing more than one goal just twice this season.
The two teams will meet in this all important game Friday afternoon at Polytech, game-time scheduled for 3:30 p.m.